Dear friends of Milestone,
I am very happy to announce that in time for all the Merian C. Cooper
happenings this year -- details can be found in the press release at the very bottom
of this email -- the DVDs of GRASS and CHANG will be re-released officially
for distribution on November 15th. Friends of Milestone can order now and get
early shipments! They are $29.95 each plus shipping and handling.
You can find information on how to order below.
Milestone Film & Video
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IT'S THE YEAR OF MERIAN C. COOPER
October 13, 2005 For Immediate Release
Dear Friends in the Press,
Milestone Film & Video and Image Entertainment are proud to announce the
November 15th DVD re-release of the two silent masterpieces by the creators of
KING KONG, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s GRASS and CHANG! In 1966,
thirty-three years after the death of the great ape and having produced some
of the finest films of John Ford’s remarkable career, Cooper said of CHANG, "It’
s still the best picture I ever made!" And GRASS is even better!
One of the greatest names in motion picture history, Merian C. Cooper is
about to be discovered; and there is no better time to write feature articles
about this remarkable man.
The real-life Indiana Jones, Cooper was one of the greatest (in alphabetical
order) adventurers, aviators, documentarians, entrepreneurs, producers,
showmen, soldiers AND studio executives of the 20th century. Some of the enterprises
he helped found were the Polish Air Force, Pan Am, Technicolor and Cinerama.
He was also the person who teamed Fred and Ginger together. AND he was
second-in-command of the Flying Tigers in WWII.
There was no one else like him. And almost more certainly, there will never
be another like him again. This year, it is time to discover "Coop," as you can
read by the following!
Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper by Mark Vaz is
published by Random House on August 2nd to rave reviews.
Chang and I'm Kong: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (from Kevin
Brownlow and Photoplay Productions) screen at the Telluride International Film
Festival to standing ovations.
Chang and Grass are to be re-released on DVD this November 15th (see
below for details)
I'm Kong premieres on Turner Classic Movies this November 22nd
King Kong, the 1933 classic by Cooper and Schoedsack premieres on DVD on
and of course,
King Kong, the new mega-feature by Peter Jackson opens on December 14th
Press kits can also be downloaded at
PREVIOUSLY OUT-OF-PRINT SINCE 2003
NOW IN RE-RELEASE!
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life
Director: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Marguerite Harrison.
Persia. 1925. 70 minutes. Tinted. Image Product Number: ID5924MLSDVD. SRP: $29.99.
Also availabe in VHS from Milestone.
"One of the most entertaining films of the year." -Peter Nichols, New York
"Fascinating! Topographically beautiful and historically potent." - Jonathan
Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Wondrous movie adventures" - David Thomson, The Guardian (London)
A classic adventure by the makers of KING KONG In 1924, neophyte filmmakers
Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack hooked up with journalist and
sometime spy Marguerite Harrison and set off to film an adventure. They found
excitement, danger and unparalleled drama in the migration of the Bakhtiari tribe of
Persia (now Iran). Twice a year, more than 50,000 people and half a million
animals surmounted seemingly impossible obstacles to take their herds to
The filmmakers captured unforgettable images of courage and determination as
the Bakhtiari braved the raging and icy waters of the half-mile-wide Karun
River. Cooper and Schoedsack almost froze when they filmed the breathtaking,
almost unbelievable, sight of an endless river of men, women and children--their
feet bare or wrapped in rags — winding up the side of the sheer, snow-covered
rock face of the 15,000-foot-high Zardeh Kuh mountain.
Although many historians consider GRASS one of the finest documentaries ever
made, few people have actually ever seen this legendary film. This restored
and full-length version, complete with an authentic Iranian score, will astonish
today’s audiences with its beautiful photography and heart-stopping
Historian Rudy Behlmer's interview of Merian C. Cooper.
Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Director: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack. Siam (Thailand). 1927. 67
minutes. Black & White.
Music by Bruce Gaston. Performed by Fong Naam.
Image Product Number: ID5922MLSDVD. SRP: $29.99. Also availabe in VHS from
"Spectacular! Unfolds like a veritable three-ring circus." -J. Hoberman,
"Thrilling! Cooper and Schoedsack were honest-to-God moviemakers [who] went
for pace, tension, and excitement. They gave themselves and their audience, a
hardy good time!" —New Yorker
"A fresh and thrilling epic from ‘Indy’-like filmmakers … Put Merian C.
Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack together and you’ve got the real-life Indiana
Jones!" — Jay Carr, The Boston Globe
CHANG is a revelation — not only is it the obvious prototype for Merian C.
Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s later masterpiece, KING KONG, but it is a
terrifically entertaining film in it own right!
Shot entirely in Siam, the film tells the story of a farmer and his family
who have settled a small patch of land on the edge of the jungle. Their
existence is a constant struggle against the many wild animals around them — bear,
tigers, and even … changs! The climactic elephant stampede is still one of the
most exciting scenes in cinema history.
This release features a brilliant score by Bangkok composer Bruce Gaston and
performed by the world-famous orchestra Fong Naam.
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Rudy Behlmer
CHANG Hand-Color Test
CHANG Production Essay
CHANG Original Press Kit
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite